The term “lamb chop” comes from the French word “côtelettes d’agneau,” meaning “leg of mutton.” Lamb has been a part of our diet for 10,000 years. It has become a dietary staple in North African, Irish, Indian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean cuisines. Australia considers the roasted lamb chop as its national dish. We all know that pit-barbecued lamb is a Mexican favorite.
What Are Lamb Chops?
Lamb chops are the cut of meat from the loin of a sheep. Chops are a popular cut for cooking. They’re lean, tender, and easy to cook. The meat is also very versatile, as it can be used in many different ways, such as steaks, stir-fries, or casseroles. You can also enjoy grilled or pan-fried lamb chops along with salad and vegetables.
Lamb is often considered a healthy alternative to beef because it contains lower amounts of fat and cholesterol. However, some cuts of lamb contain higher levels of saturated fat.
Lamb chops are usually sold whole. However, some cuts are available as half chops. Half chops are simply one side of a full chop. They are generally thinner than full chops.
Types of Lamb Chops
There are two types of lamb chops:
Loin chops, also known as saddle chops, are taken off the shoulder blade. These are generally thicker than rib chops, making them easier to handle. They are often cooked whole.
Rib chops are referred to as “ribs,” “cheekbones,” or “English chops.” These chops are usually smaller than loin chops and cut into individual pieces.
Both these types of chops are fairly similar.
What Do Lamb Chops Taste Like?
Lamb chops are one of those foods that make us feel good after eating them. They are tender, juicy, and flavorful when cooked correctly. It tastes similar to beef but has a gamey flavor in every bite, distinguishing it from other types of meat. Here, the highlight is the gamey taste, which means having a strong taste of hunting or the taste of wilderness.
This grassy, wilder flavor comes due to the grazing habits of lambs. However, grain-fed lambs have a less gamey flavor than grass-fed ones. The lamb meat smells more earthly.
The flavor of lamb chops depends on how they are prepared. If you want to make them taste more like beef, then marinate them in a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil for at least an hour before cooking. This will give them a stronger flavor. Having said that, the lamb chops are just lip-smacking with some sort of sauce or gravy.
How to Cook Lamb Chops?
Lamb chops are easy to prepare. However, there are some ways to make sure that the meat is always tender and juicy. First, you need to ensure that the meat is trimmed properly of any excess fat before grilling. Then season your lamb chops with salt and pepper before cooking. Seasoning helps to enhance flavor and adds moisture to the meat. Finally, you’ll want to cook your lamb chops slowly.
Cook the chops over medium heat until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Let them rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with lemon wedges and a side salad. Cooking over high heat for too long will dry out the meat and make it stringy.
Cooking times vary depending on whether the lamb chops are boneless or bone-in. Boneless lamb chops need to be cooked for 15 minutes per inch of thickness. Bone-in chops require 20 minutes per inch of thickness. Cooking times also depend on how thick the chops are. Thin chops take less time to cook than thick ones.
When cooking lamb chops, make sure they don’t overcook. If the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit, the meat will become dry. It won’t taste good either.
Always use fresh herbs and spices for seasoning your lamb chops.
If you want to grill your lamb chops, make sure the surface is oiled first. You can do so by rubbing olive oil over the surface. Make sure there isn’t any residue left after rubbing. Once the surface is oiled, place the chops on the grill. Grill them for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Then turn down the heat and let the chops rest until ready to serve.
Health Benefits of Lamb Chops
Lamb chops are not only delicious, but they are also healthy. They are an excellent source of protein. They also contain plenty of iron, zinc, vitamin B12, and riboflavin. Plus, they provide essential fatty acids (EFAs). EFAs help to maintain heart health.
A serving of 3-5 lamb chops contains only 100 calories. That’s fewer calories than most chicken breasts, making it a healthy everyday meal option.
Sides to Pair With Lamb Chops
Although lamb chops are the show stoppers, they do need a good pairing to shine out. Here are some options that go well with chops, such as
- Glazed Carrots and Green Beans
- Honey Glazed Roasted Vegetables
- Peas and mashed potatoes
- Garlic Bread
- Lemony lettuce
- Mint Chutney and Cucumber
The richness of grilled lamb chops rubbed with spice and cooked to perfection makes your mouth water. It is topped off by health benefits and the versatility of being served with almost anything. Now that you have an idea of what do lamb chops taste like, just go try them out and get ready to be spellbound.